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COVID-19 Response Grant

Grants to Massachusetts and New York Nonprofits in Eligible
Counties for Support During the Coronavirus Crisis

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation

Deadline Date:

05/27/20 11:59 PM


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Grants of up to $25,000 to Massachusetts and New York nonprofit organizations in eligible counties for support during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Funding is intended to provide short-term assistance for organizations and services rendered on behalf of young people up to age 26 affected by intellectual and learning disabilities, mental illness, and substance use disorders. Funded services must benefit residents in Barnstable, Dukes, Essex, and Nantucket Counties in Massachusetts; and Erie and Niagara Counties in New York.

In light of the jarring realities of COVID-19 and the havoc it has wrought on local communities, the Peter & Elizabeth Tower Foundation has diverted all of its 2020 grant dollars to pandemic response. Just over half of these dollars were donated to community response efforts, and the remainder will be used to make grants to individual and partnering community-based organizations. 

Instead of its usual programmatic grants, the Foundation will make general support grants to local organizations and collaborative efforts with a programmatic presence in its funding geography that serve children, adolescents, and/or young adults ages 0-26 affected by intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental illness, and/or substance use disorders. For a definition of each of these disability/disorder related terms, please see the Guidelines listed in Supporting Documents below.

The Foundation seeks to understand the needs and opportunities these organizations and the people they serve face because of COVID-19. This funding opportunity is intended as a short-term response to organizational challenges relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 189705

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

The Foundation anticipates awarding approximately 15-20 grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Foundation anticipates awarding grants of up to $25,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be:
- Not-for-profit organizations with a 501(c)(3) designation that are not private foundations, or
- Not-for-profit public benefit corporations

Organizations currently providing services within the following regions* are eligible to apply under this grant opportunity:
- Massachusetts: Barnstable, Dukes, Essex, and Nantucket Counties
- New York State: Erie and Niagara Counties
*Please note that applicants must deliver services within these counties. For example, a clinic serving people exclusively in Boston, some of whom happen to live in Essex County, would not be eligible to apply. Organizations that are headquartered elsewhere are eligible to apply, provided that grant funds are used to support the work performed within these counties.

The Foundation expects to prioritize applications from organizations serving young people aged zero to twenty-six affected by intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental health, and/or substance use disorders that:
- Have an annual operating budget of $8 million or less.
- Continue to serve, whether in person or via telehealth, populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19 (e.g., people experiencing homelessness, people who are incarcerated, people with disabilities, refugee and immigrant communities, communities of color).
- Continue to provide necessary in-person services (e.g., residential care, inpatient, in-home) to the highest-need populations despite increased risk to staff.
- Continue to serve families and caregivers who are supporting children and young adults in their home, including services to combat isolation; to support health and well-being; and to provide family respite.
- Incorporate beneficiary voice into the services it offers and how these services are delivered.

Pre-Application Information:

Application Deadline: 11:59 PM Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Anticipated Notification: Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Unless you have made alternative arrangements, all grant requests must be submitted via the online link found in Contact Information below.

About current Foundation grantmaking:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply online:

For questions, please contact the Foundation:

- Via email at, or
- Schedule a 30-minute phone call with a Program Officer at

For technical support, contact:

Don Matteson, Chief Program Officer

The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation
2351 North Forest Road
Getzville, New York 14068

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts: Barnstable, Dukes, Essex, and Nantucket Counties;   New York: Erie and Niagara Counties

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